CHENNAI: The Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) seems to be running against time to host the fourth Test between India and South Africa. Being told by BCCI that it has to produce clearance from civic authorities by November 17, the beleaguered body has not said no yet, but faces an uphill task of getting things in order.
Representatives of a committee formed by Delhi government to probe allegations of financial and administrative irregularities in the state body met BCCI president Shashank Manohar in Nagpur on Saturday. While DDCA president SP Bansal said he didn’t know what transpired, sources claimed that the committee members have told Manohar the association is in no position to obtain clearances in time.
“One stumbling block is the entertainment tax of around `24 crore demanded by the Delhi government. Even if DDCA agrees to pay, it can’t because its accounts are sealed following a court order. The committee members have explained to Manohar that it’s difficult for DDCA to get all the permissions. For the Test to happen in Delhi, the BCCI has to intervene and do things on behalf of DDCA. Will they do that?” a DDCA source said.
The BCCI president refused to elaborate. “We’ve told DDCA it has to produce all the permissions by November 17. Otherwise, Pune will host the Test. There’s no change in that,” Manohar told Express. It has been learnt that permission is needed from different places like police, corporation and taxation authorities. With probes on against senior office-bearers and financial independence curbed by frozen accounts, things don’t look good for Delhi.
Contacted by this newspaper, the DDCA president couldn’t throw much light on the developments. “We’ve had the support of the government in the past. Even this time, they haven’t said they are against us. So we remain hopeful of hosting the Test. Two days means there’s time for us to get things in order,” said Bansal. However, given that the ball isn’t in his court, it’s up to the Delhi government to see whether Kotla gets to stage the match.